Download e-book for kindle: A Grammar of Murder: Violent Scenes and Film Form by Karla Oeler

By Karla Oeler

ISBN-10: 0226617947

ISBN-13: 9780226617947

The darkish shadows and offscreen house that strength us to visualize violence we can't see. the true slaughter of animals spliced with the fictitious killing of fellows. The lacking countershot from the homicide victim’s viewpoint. Such photographs, or absent photographs, Karla Oeler contends, distill how the homicide scene demanding situations and adjustments film. 


Reexamining works by way of such filmmakers as Renoir, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Jarmusch, and Eisenstein, Oeler lines the homicide scene’s elaborate connections to the nice breakthroughs within the idea and perform of montage and the formula of the foundations and syntax of Hollywood style. She argues that homicide performs this kind of primary function in movie since it mirrors, on a number of degrees, the act of cinematic illustration. loss of life and homicide straight away remove lifestyles and speak to consciousness to its former life, simply as cinema conveys either the truth and the absence of the items it depicts. yet homicide stocks with cinema not just this interaction among presence and lack, move and stillness: not like demise, killing involves the planned relief of a unique topic to a disposable item. Like cinema, it includes an important selection approximately what to chop and what to keep.

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Extra info for A Grammar of Murder: Violent Scenes and Film Form

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Through montage, the film deliberately contrasts this reduction of space, and the threatened reduction of Bair’s lifetime, with their extension. The first time the film cuts in (not to a close-up, but to a medium shot) of the executioner (Boris Barnet) pulling a gun from his pocket, we see that he draws his weapon only to remove a pouch of tobacco; he fills his pipe and offers the condemned man a cigarette (figs. The tobacco tease serves as an apparent reprieve, suggesting an illusory extension of the hero’s time by exposing and then repacking the very weapon that threatens him; the revolver momentarily looms and recedes in the puff of a smoke.

43 The murder scene starkly crystallizes the stakes of this formal tension between individual and series, for it pivots on the tension between asserting an individual’s discardability and emphasizing his or her singularity. The tensions between scene and story, film and genre, refract the stakes of the murder scene, even though, in some genres, they have nothing to do with murder: they are the lineaments of form as such. * To juxtapose montage and genre as they articulate murder scenes, we must juxtapose classical Soviet and Hollywood cinemas.

28 Eisenstein’s interpretation of the scene suggests a drama of scale taking place in the mind of the murderer—a drama of scale associated, ultimately, with the popular concept of a superman, modeled after Napoleon, who exercises a bird’s-eye view of history and possesses the will and strength to speed it, through violence, along its progressive trajectory. Against such a superman, Raskolnikov sets out to measure his own stature. The standard of measure is the ability to disregard “ordinary” human life as far below one’s purview; the test is murder.

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A Grammar of Murder: Violent Scenes and Film Form by Karla Oeler

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